Holy Spirit

Last time in Two Truths for Traveling Anywhere”, I meant to highlight a full schedule of preparations for our most significant trip ever.

“Consider how we are preparing for this trip of all trips.

Time with family and friends, compassionate service, magnifying our callings, discovering and using our talents, hearing and obeying promptings, spending time in prayer, reading our scriptures, missionary work, learning God’s will for our lives, following the example of our Savior in all ways…”

Even more so, then, was the contrast in my dear friend’s thoughtful comment. Being still- a most valuable aspect of our preparations. If you missed it, I knew you would appreciate pondering Bryant’s wisdom this week.

From Bryant Barber

Re: Consider how we are preparing for this trip of all trips:

As I age, and I don’t enjoy “all” aspects of the process, I’d like to share a phrase from scripture which has helped me. It is found in PSALMS 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.” I thought I had a general idea of what that meant.

be still and know that I am God

It was a favorite of my elderly father-in-law, who passed away in October of 2013. However, if someone asked me, “What does that mean to you?” I’m not sure what I would have said.

So, I began to ponder it, and with the help of a thesaurus, looking at synonyms for “STILL,” and “KNOW,” and other scriptural references, I came up with some other ways of stating that phrase that might help me to broaden my understanding of it. Following, is what I came up with:

Stand still…and…listen to Me
Quiet yourself…and…pay attention to Me
Don’t be anxious…but…have confidence in Me
Be calm…and…have faith in what I say
Just relax…and…trust Me
Be at peace…because…I really do understand
Be serene…for…I am with you always
Be soft and gentle…for…that is My way
Listen…and…I will enlighten you
Don’t be afraid…for…I will comfort you

be-stillMy conclusion? I do know that God is my Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is my Saviour. I need to “be still” and listen to His words, which partly comes from reading His words; and also pay attention to the “still, small voice” of the Holy Ghost.

Heavenly Father truly has not left us “alone” here on earth, and I am so grateful for that. Good luck to us all as we prepare for that trip of all trips.

 

How do you fit “be still” in the busy-ness of your day?

Gift-Cube-HD-WallpaperSurprised at the still small voice as I donned my earrings, I pondered the significance of what I heard.

Some months before, I had been taught during energy healing classes that our jewelry should be removed in order for energies to flow freely. The thought crossed my mind and briefly I wondered whether wearing earrings would stifle His ‘energy’.

Instantly I heard, “Nothing will stop the Holy Spirit”.

In less than an hour I would be confirmed and given the opportunity to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, promised to all believers by our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“…Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off” Acts 2:38-39

How little I understood the reality of the indwelling personage of the Holy Ghost at that time. I am a bit embarrassed even now to admit that I thought this divine gift and power freely bestowed on those willing to partake, as simple ‘energy’. (Helllloooo… ‘Energy’ doesn’t have a voice.)

I am continually in awe that this holiest of Beings condescends to be a companion and comforter to all those willing to receive Him by the laying on of hands by those with authority.

This brings me to another point.

Twice recently, I’ve had opportunity to share how we Latter Day Saints are given this priceless gift. It is amazing to me how many deeply devotional and faithful people follow some of Christ’s teachings very closely, yet completely gloss over other plain and simple truths. And for different reasons.

One person may never have noted or seriously considered what the scriptures promise, while another justifies its existence with a far out theological explanation, abandoning the privilege of the companionship of the Holy Ghost as pertinent only to the New Testament days.

I remember several times when I was a brand new Latter Day Saint I would attempt in my clumsy fashion to explain to friends or family that my search for the Holy Spirit was what brought me to this church.

And these sweet people often responded, “But I have the Holy Spirit.” That usually left me speechless because I knew they genuinely felt and believed this to be true in their lives.

I had had enough experiences of a spiritual nature in my past to know it to be just as true for them. How can one expound the glories of the Lord when one does not totally know what all is available?

Today I am much more confident in my knowledge of the differences. It is as I’d supposed from reading the New Testament and more precious to experience firsthand.

Honest seekers of the truth do feel the influence of the Holy Spirit leading them to Jesus Christ. Certainly, countless times as I read my Bible I felt His influence.

However. The fullness of the blessings given through the Holy Spirit are available only to those who receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Having this gift means having the constant companionship of this member of the Godhead. Receiving guidance, inspiration, comfort, or serving and blessing others through spiritual gifts are only some of the joys of this divine gift.

“When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women…Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” Acts 8:12, 17

jm_600_GIA.pd-P3.tiffHow grateful I am for plainly stated scriptures. And deeply appreciative for the restored truths of the gospel in these latter days.

The gift of the Holy Ghost, also known as the Holy Spirit is one of Heavenly Father’s greatest gifts to His children.

“Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost…they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus…And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them…” Acts 19:2,5,6

This is how the gift of the Holy Ghost is given. By the laying on of hands by those with authority to do so. If you haven’t heard yet that this gift is truly available to you this day, you need to know.

Seek the most sacred gifts and peace, joy and happiness will overflow your heart more than you can imagine.

In what ways has the Holy Spirit helped you?

A few times in my life I’ve had occasion to visit Pentecostal church services. Once, a small band played jarring loud music followed with exuberant shouts of praise. Another time, at a tent meeting the congregation prayed aloud-everyone at the same time!

This was intermingled with an evening of enthusiastic singing and clapping. Confused and feeling empty, I believed I was the problem because I had not recognized the Spirit.

Yet, eight years ago, when I desired to find a church that believes in the Holy Spirit of the New Testament, I did consider revisiting these charismatic and energized services.

I expected noisy obtrusive clapping and singing to become a part of the paradigm shift I’d have to undergo. I was willing to learn to adjust if that’s what it would take to ‘get the Spirit’.

“the Lord was not in the wind…the Lord was not in the earthquake…the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” 1 Kings19:11-12

Afterwards, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I became aware of a quiet and reverent attitude that I had not anticipated, and one that I deeply appreciated.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

In fact, as I pondered the alternative choice, I was very relieved that Heavenly Father led me to a church that is not as demonstrative as I’d thought one must be and where I never would have felt comfortable. I have rejoiced about this many times. His ways truly are higher than our ways.

“As for God, His way is perfect” 2 Samuel 22:31

testimonyThe feelings I receive from the Holy Spirit are similar to those I had experienced at different times over the years while I was quietly reading my Bible. Then, my heart would swell with truths that filled my soul, God’s peace and love feeling very near.

“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all.” Boyd K. Packer

I love our services. There is no mistaking the Presence of the Spirit, although our meetings would never be considered charismatic in nature.

Feelings of peace, gratefulness, love and joy are magnified when God brushes the heart. And often overflow.

When have you felt caressed by His Spirit?